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Toronto Maple Leafs Synthetic Ice by KwikRink

Can you skate on synthetic ice? Although synthetic ice has been around for decades, many people still do not know much about it. Below, we have posted answers to some of the most common synthetic ice questions that we frequently receive. It can also be hard to find accurate information on the web, as most of it is posted by companies with an agenda. Since 1996, KwikRink Synthetic Ice has been selling premium skating surfaces and are considered the elite experts in the industry.

Can you skate on synthetic ice?

This is a question we get a lot…Can you skate on synthetic ice? Really, can you? Yes, you can, but not all synthetic ice tiles are created equally – Some will skate better than others. Many competing brands sell surfaces that we were selling in the 199o’s…That is old! We currently manufacture our own synthetic ice formulas in the USA. KwikRink V panels are the best self-lubricating skating surface in the industry.

How long does synthetic ice last?

There are a lot of variables to consider when answering a question like this. Ultimately, the answer to this question will depend on factors like; frequency of use, intensity of use, number of users, weight of users. We sold and installed a KwikRink to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. We expect up to 10 years of lifespan with a team of professional hockey players using the surface intensely every day. Most commercial training facilities, and especially residential rinks, can get a lot more life out of their synthetic ice. We have been in business for over 20 years, and have not seen a residential rink wear out. The only exception is when the synthetic ice is used for goalie training. Goalies do put more wear into the synthetic ice tiles, as they stay mostly in one spot while training.

KwikRink V (3/8″) – 10+ years on average

KwikRink V (1/2″) – 15+ years on average

Will Synthetic Ice Ruin my Skates?

No, synthetic ice will not “ruin” your skates. Most of our clients will use their primary pair of ice skates when skating. Again, all synthetic ice tiles are not created equally. Some will dull your blades faster than others. Some of the hardest surfaces will dull the blades very fast, so it is important to find a synthetic ice surface that has the proper hardness balance. While skating on KwikRink, you can expect your blades to dull at about the same rate as if you were skating on an outdoor pond on a cold day – a huge improvement over competing brands.

Can I do a Hockey Stop on Synthetic Ice?

Yes, hockey stops are possible on synthetic ice. All skating maneuvers on KwikRink V synthetic ice tiles, such as; backwards skating, transitioning, and hockey stops, are 100% natural movements when compared to real ice.

What type of maintenance is required for my synthetic ice rink?

The simple rule of thumb for any synthetic ice rink – The cleaner it is, the faster it will skate. Dirt and debris create extra friction between the skate blade and synthetic ice tiles. Make sure to sweep and mop your rink, as needed. If outside, using a pressure washer works very well to clean rinks that show signs of neglect.

Can i wear shoes on synthetic ice?

Yes, you can wear shoes on synthetic ice. We always recommend to keep a clean pair of gym shoes to use when not wearing skates. This will help keep the surface clean and performing at its best. The synthetic ice tiles are designed to be slippery to the skate blade, but are not as slick on the shoe. That being said, you are purchasing the rink for ice skating, which is what its intended use is. Synthetic ice will not be an ideal surface for intense running and jump-cuts.

 

 

 

 

 

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What is the ideal size for synthetic ice panels? As the saying goes, “the bigger, the better”. “Bigger” panels certainly have the disadvantage of being less convenient than smaller panels when it comes to shipping and receiving. From a purely functional standpoint, however, a bigger sized panel is much better for several reasons.

At KwikRink Synthetic Ice, our default panel is a whopping 8′ x 4′ size .Many other companies are selling panels as small as 1.5′ x 1.5′! These are great for shipping, but the advantages stop there. Below are 4 reasons why bigger synthetic ice tiles are the way to go!

1. Larger synthetic ice panels make for less seams in the surface.

While smaller panels are easier to move around, they also will have substantially more seams when the panels are connected. This simply leaves a lot more opportunity for things to go wrong in a synthetic ice rink.

2. Larger synthetic ice panels provide more forgiveness when a substrate is flawed.

Most sub-floors are not perfect. The smaller the synthetic ice tiles are, the less “forgiveness” they provide in a flawed substrate. Aside from the extra seams, this leaves the panels much more likely to have seams that lip up. This is a problem that can stop pucks and trip skaters. In short, the larger size synthetic ice panels are able to cover up substrate flaws much better than smaller panels.

3. Larger synthetic ice panels allow for a quicker installation.

This one is a bit obvious, but having to connect less panels makes doing an installation much faster. These panels will not be as easy to move around as the smaller ones, but connecting one KwikRink synthetic ice panel to another is comparable to connecting up to 16 smaller panels from a different supplier.

4. Larger synthetic ice panels offer the best bang for your buck.

Bigger synthetic ice panels will provide the best value for your money. Most competing brands that offer the smaller panels, are doing so for shipping and convenience of mobility to the consumer. Although these aren’t bad reasons, consumers are left with even less panel for their dollar due to the desire to cut overhead costs and oblige to various shipping restrictions. This is also why you often will see “Free Shipping” for the smaller panels. It is not really free, but built into the cost, as they are vastly overpriced for what is received.

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What is the best synthetic ice? Really…what is it? The market is flooded with options for synthetic ice. Its a tough world for consumers, as you are generally needing to make a costly investment in a surface before trying it out. The below points outline some of the things to look for in a synthetic ice product.

Glide

This is the starting point, as there are a lot of synthetic ice surfaces out there that put a black eye on the whole industry. There are still companies selling similar synthetic ice surfaces that we were selling in the mid 1990’s! All of these will need a lubricant spray to achieve any glide. Many companies are currently selling “self-lubricating” surfaces. These are surfaces that achieve glide without any lubricant aids.

This is where it gets tricky…to what degree is the glide comparable to actual ice? Even within the “self-lubricating” category, there will be a vast array of how the glide performs. Synthetic ice is generally made with a resin and a “slip agent”. The slip agent is what makes the synthetic ice glide. The biggest difference in glide among competing companies will be what specific slip agent is used, and how much of it is used.

Cheaper synthetic ice brands tend to use less effective slip agents, or use it at a much lower percentage than the best synthetic ice surfaces. The glide will be much stickier, and may even require a lubricant spray to achieve its true desired effect (many cheap brands won’t tell you that ahead of time). Generally speaking, with an increase in the proper slip agent, comes an increase in the glide (resin dependent). This also will cause an increase in price, as it is more costly to manufacture. The best synthetic ice has a glide in excess of 90% when compared to real ice.

Hardness Balance

The hardness of the synthetic ice surface is imperative for durability and a natural feel. Many cheap surfaces are much too soft or too hard. These products tend to use a cheaper resin, which softens the surface. Or they use little-to-no slip agent, which hardens the surface (slip agents tend to soften synthetic ice). Durability or performance for these synthetic ice surfaces will be dramatically affected in a negative manner.

Skating on soft surfaces, feels similar to real ice that is too soft. You will dig into the ice and feel like you are skating on a train track. This also adds friction and slows down the glide. On the other-hand, surfaces can be much too hard and dull the blades very fast. These tend to be seen in older surfaces, and surfaces with no slip agent added to the resin. We often refer to these synthetic ice surfaces as, “dead cutting boards”.

Achieving the right balance of hardness in synthetic ice leads to natural ice-like skating surfaces, that are not too hard or too soft on the blades. The best synthetic ice has the perfect hardness balance.

Seamless Connection

There are two main ways that synthetic ice panels are connected. These two methods are known as the “tongue and groove” and “dovetail” connections.

The tongue and groove connection came first. In fact, this is how we connected our panels back in the late ’90’s. This connection is a lot more work for the end user, and makes it very difficult to install and take apart. This connection can also pose problems in larger spaces, as panels like to pull away from one another and don’t want to connect.

The dovetail connection is what we currently are using. This connection allows for fast and easy installation/tear down. The key to the KwikRink Lock-Rink Dovetail assembly is that the male and female joints have a slight overbite for a snug fit. With proper sub flooring, this connection is seamless and will not trip skaters or stop pucks. The best synthetic ice surfaces are seamless!

Best Synthetic Ice

  1. The best synthetic ice surfaces have glide in excess of 90%  when compared to real ice
  2. The best synthetic ice surfaces have a natural ice-like feel – not too hard or soft
  3. The best synthetic ice surfaces have a seamless connection

Searching for the best synthetic ice in today’s market can leave the average consumer with a headache. At KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we invest heavily in R&D, and have been manufacturing our own surfaces for 20 years. It would be much easier for us to purchase pre-made synthetic ice surfaces like most of our competitors, and resell them under our own name. Manufacturing our own synthetic ice allows us to make the best synthetic ice!

 

 

 

 

types of synthetic ice underlays

Is an underlay for my new synthetic ice rink necessary? Well, this depends on a lot of variables. It is very important that the synthetic ice panels be laid on top of a hard and flat surface. In this article, we will dive into three categories that all sub-floors fall into when it comes to the necessity of having a synthetic ice underlay; no underlay, simple underlay, and advanced underlay.

No Synthetic Ice Underlay

When no underlay is needed for a synthetic ice rink, it tends to be in an inside space with a very flat and hard sub-floor. We also see this outside on sport courts that were done correctly by the contractor. These are any floors with no flaws.

  • Indoor rooms/basements
  • Sport courts
  • Tennis courts
  • Leveled decks

Simple Synthetic Ice Underlay

A “simple underlay” is needed when the sub-floor has some flaws, but is mostly hard and flat. Undulation in the sub-floor is the biggest reason for a simple underlay – most of these surfaces are still hard (concrete,asphalt, wood, etc.). This can require something as simple as using 3/4″ OSB tongue and groove plywood. The plywood is very flat, and will provide extra forgiveness in a flawed sub-floor. Rubber matting can also be used as an underlay for your synthetic ice panels in these type of scenarios.

    • driveways
    • parking lots
    • streets
    • on pavers

Advanced Synthetic Ice Underlay

An advanced synthetic ice underlay is necessary when hardness of the sub-floor is not up to par and/or the sub-floor is very un-level. These tend to be a little more work, as these have the worst sub-floors to place synthetic ice panels on. The best ways to remedy this is to pour a concrete slab (like a sport court) or build a raised wooden deck. The deck platform does not have to be very high off of the ground, but does need to be made level.

  • grassy areas
  • some parking lots
  • turf
  • carpet

Synthetic ice rinks are possible anywhere with the right sub-floor. It is important to assess to which degree a synthetic ice underlay is necessary for optimal performance of the skating surface. Often times, no underlay is needed at all. Don’t fall for these added costs from other suppliers…We will help you determine the best underlay treatment for your synthetic ice rink!

 

 

Synthetic Ice Rent with Option to Buy Program

At KwikRink, we understand that any transaction for a synthetic ice application is quite the investment and should not be taken lightly. This is why we offer our clients the “Synthetic Ice Rent with Option to Buy Program”. This program entails all brand new materials shipped to the end user on a monthly rental program. When that time has completed, the synthetic ice can be returned or purchased at the remaining balance of the cost to own.

Our program offers turnkey solutions for communities and businesses interested in a synthetic ice skating rink. The rental period acts as a trial, so there is no long-term commitment that needs to be made upfront.

Who/What does this Synthetic Ice Rental Program benefit?

  • Holiday celebrations
  • Annual festivals
  • City parks
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Shopping centers
  • Company parties
  • Private celebrations

The “Synthetic Ice Rent with Option to Buy Program” offers a unique experience for attendees and at an affordable price for the individual/company/community that is holding the event. When you compare the cost to support real ice, synthetic ice rentals are a fraction of the cost – no electricity or water needed. These synthetic ice rinks can hold up in any climate, which often brings an awe factor in any location where outdoor ice is unsustainable.

What does this Synthetic Ice Rental Program offer?

  • Custom-sized synthetic ice rink tailored to your needs
  • Decorative fencing
  • Rental skates
  • Skate sharpeners
  • Rubber matting
  • On-site supervision and installation

KwikRink is your one-stop-shop for all items needed to make your event a success. All materials are quoted in an itemized fashion, as you may pick and choose what products are needed for your specific application.

We will work with you before, during, and after the initial process to ensure the rental period and potential purchase are a big success. These types of applications have drawn rave reviews from our past clients. The most important aspect when it comes to setting up events with synthetic ice applications is to bring people together for a fun time!

Get started with a quote today!

 

 

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